Two readers wrote with tempting summer dessert recipes I just had to try and pass along. I’m sure they will end up in a lot of reader files.
Norma A. Orovitz of Bay Harbor Islands sent her recipe for Pound Cake-Plus with this note: “Your column featuring Jacques Pepin’s Lemon Delice so reminded me of a short-cut dessert recipe shared by my sister-in-law Felicia Deutch some 40 years ago. So, when I needed a quicky sweet to serve to my Spanish class last week, I made it for the first time in ages and everyone loved it! There are no specific measurements, and one ingredient may be omitted so it can be made to taste.”
I added measurements and the summer-fruit suggestion. With mangoes in season in South Florida, I couldn’t resist the combination.
Jean Miazgowicz of Hialeah sent this note along with her recipe for Snowball Cake: “My late mother (in Michigan) used to make this cake in the summertime, probably in the ’70s. Very light and refreshing! Although it calls for boxed Dream Whip, I’m sure it would be even better with real whipped cream.”
I hadn’t thought about Dream Whip in years. For those who don’t know, it’s a nondairy powder you beat with milk and vanilla like whipped cream. It is still available (I found it on Amazon and at Wal-Mart) for those who want a bit of nostalgia. I substituted whipping cream, but you could use 6 cups of a frozen whipped topping, defrosted.
I thought my grilled foods were being cheated of flavor after I switched from charcoal briquettes to gas, but I had no idea how to incorporate wood chips into the process. That’s why I’m enamored with Weber’s Smoke: A Guide to Smoke Cooking for Everyone and Every Grill by Jamie Purvance (Sunset, $21.95).
This cookbook tells you the best type of grill for each recipe, gives the degree of smoke intensity and even suggests what type of wood chip will work best. It is also full of tips, such as this one for the Hickory Barbecued Chicken recipe here:
Grill the chicken with the skin side down first to melt the fat under the skin. This will help the skin develop a somewhat crispy texture even when you brush the sauce all over it.
Best of all, while there are a few over-the-top recipes (smoked duck with cherry sausages), this is a cookbook that uses basic backyard grills and standard pantry ingredients to produce memorable food.